⌛ Why Is Torture Should Be Banned

Saturday, October 30, 2021 6:59:07 AM

Why Is Torture Should Be Banned

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Most Horrible Torture of All Time Comparison

The police, the entity being protested, have unleashed so much brutality that in just three weeks, at least eight people have already lost eyesight to rubber bullets. One Twitter thread dedicated to documenting violent police misconduct is at entries and counting. And nobody seems safe—not even a year-old avowed peacenik who was merely in the way of a line of cops when he was shoved so violently that he fell and cracked his skull. Chillingly, the police walked on as he bled on the ground. After the video came out to widespread outrage, and the two police officers who shoved him were suspended, their fellow officers on the active emergency-response team resigned to support their colleagues.

Plus the pandemic means that protesters who march in crowds, face tear gas, and risk jail and detention in crowded settings are taking even more risks than usual. Sustaining such widespread protests for weeks under these difficult conditions is no easy feat, and there are indications that these protests are already having immediate impacts. In Minneapolis, where the killing of George Floyd was the initial spark, the mayor called for sweeping structural reform, the city council passed a resolution to disband the police force and replace it with a community-led model, and the police chief pulled out of negotiations with the police union.

Many other localities have been considering similar initiatives to scale back police departments. Does that mean high-risk or difficult-to-pull-off protests can always work to scare authorities into implementing change? Sadly, repression works. No matter how brave the protesters may be, a state often has a lot more capacity to inflict costs than ordinary protesters have to withstand them. During the Arab Spring, about one-third of the citizens of Bahrain marched for months on end—a staggering number, comparable to more than 70 million people marching in the United States. Instead of buckling, their government responded with widespread arrests, torture, and executions, even of teenagers, finally silencing the weary population.

In response, the military and the police opened fire, gunning down an estimated 1, people in a single day. Unsurprisingly, protests mostly died down, and the country has since been ruled by a ruthless military dictatorship. These are not historical exceptions. In , the Chinese government killed hundreds or, by some estimates, even thousands of protesters in Tiananmen Square, where about 1 million people had peacefully assembled for months, crushing the pro-democracy movement.

Why do they sometimes give in to protest movements? The key to understanding that is also the key to understanding the true long-term power of social movements. Movements, and their protests, are powerful because they change the minds of people, including those who may not even be participating in them, and they change the lives of their participants. In the long term, protests work because they can undermine the most important pillar of power: legitimacy. Commentators often note that a state can be defined by its monopoly on violence, a concept going back to the philosopher Thomas Hobbes and codified by the sociologist Max Weber. But the full Weber quote is less well known. The Soviet Union did not fall because it ran out of tanks to send to Eastern Europe when the people there rebelled in the late s.

It fell, in large part, because it ran out of legitimacy, and because Soviet rulers had lost the will and the desire to live in their own system. If the loss of legitimacy is widespread and deep enough, the generals and police who are supposed to be enacting the violence can and do turn against the rulers or, at least, they stop defending the unpopular ruler. Force and repression can keep things under control for a while, but it also makes such rule more brittle. Read: When cracking down on protests backfires. Legitimacy, not repression, is the bedrock of resilient power. Losing legitimacy is the most important threat to authorities, especially in democracies, because authorities can do only so much for so long to hold on to power under such conditions.

Maybe they can stay in power longer in part through obstacles such as voter repression, gerrymandering, and increasing the power of unelected institutions, but the society they oversee will inevitably decline, and so will their grasp on power. In that light, focusing on legitimacy as the most robust source of power, it becomes clear that the Black Lives Matter movement has been quite successful in its short life. It should first be noted: This is a young movement, but it did not start this year. The current wave of high-risk protests is a crest in a movement that goes back to the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida, and that spread nationwide after the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the killing of Michael Brown.

Understood in their proper historical context, Black Lives Matter protests are the second civil-rights movement in postwar America, and measured in that light, they are more and more successful in the most important metric: They are convincing people of the righteousness of their cause. Successful protests are the ones that win that conversation and in the framing of the issue, and by all accounts and measures, Black Lives Matter protesters are succeeding.

By , 40 percent of Americans had reported supporting the movement. Currently, two-thirds do , compared to a mere 31 percent who oppose it. For the first time, a majority of the country also supports removing Confederate statues from public places , a 19 percent shift since , when 39 percent did. Right now, major newspapers are publishing op-eds calling for abolishing or defunding the police, while conservatives are publishing many pieces arguing that we should instead focus on reforming the police , and that abolition would go too far.

Reforming the police as the minimal, conservative position is a striking shift in the Overton window in just a few years. Protests also work because they change the protesters themselves, turning some from casual participants into lifelong activists, which in turn changes society. Dominic Raab is facing mounting pressure to resign over his handling of the Afghanistan crisis as Labour warned there had been an "unforgiveable failure of leadership" by the Government. The party has demanded details about the Government's handling of the situation in Afghanistan and the Foreign Secretary's holiday to the Greek island of Crete while Kabul fell to the Taliban.

It has set out a list of 18 urgent questions for the Foreign Secretary to answer about his trip and his department's handling of the crisis. Mr Raab, who rejected calls to resign on Thursday, was reportedly "unavailable" when officials in his department suggested he "urgently" call Afghan foreign minister Hanif Atmar on August 13 - two days before the Taliban marched on Kabul - to arrange help for those who supported British troops. It was reported on Thursday that the Afghan foreign ministry refused to arrange a call with a junior minister, pushing it back to the next day. Dominic Raab faces mounting pressure to resign after it emerged a phone call requested by his officials to help interpreters flee Afghanistan was not made.

The Foreign Secretary was reportedly "unavailable" when officials in his department suggested he "urgently" call Afghan foreign minister Hanif Atmar on August 13 - two days before the Taliban marched on Kabul - to arrange help for those who supported British troops. It was initially reported the Afghan Foreign Ministry refused to arrange a call with a junior minister, pushing it back to the next day. But a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson later said: "Given the rapidly changing situation, it was not possible to arrange a call before the Afghan government collapsed.

Mr Raab was holidaying on the Greek island of Crete and said to be staying at the five-star "luxury" Amirandes Hotel when the request for the call was made. Meanwhile satellite images show the traffic jams in Kabul as thousands of citizens and foreign nationals attempt to get to the airport. The airport has become the centre of the disruption around the city as thousands remain camped out, desperately hoping they may be able to catch a flight out of Afghanistan. Unconfirmed reports on social media say several people have been killed as US forces and the Taliban - separated by an unofficial no-man's land - struggle to contain the desperate throngs of people.

The hardline Islamists - who use a warped version of Sharia Law - ruled with an iron fist when they last controlled Afghanistan in the 90s. And many do not wish to return to the days when women were executed for morality crimes, while petty crooks had body parts amputated, and music was banned. Taliban forces managed to surge back into control of the country after the withdrawal of US forces - rampaging across the country in a matter of weeks.

Clarissa Ward was reporting from Kabul Airport on Wednesday when she was approached by a Taliban fighter holding a truncheon who demanded through an interpreter that she hide her face. She told those watching that he was claiming the US is to blame for the chaotic scenes as Afghans try to enter the airport and flee the country. America is really acting unfairly toward them. Why are they lying and telling them they can go to America? Critics compared the retreat to the "fall of Saigon" in that effectively ended the Vietnam War. I don't know how that happened. Biden was probed on the pictures of the chaos seen at Kabul airport earlier this week that saw stowaways fall to their death and desperate Afghans crushed in a stampede.

Biden also told ABC that troops would stay in Afghanistan beyond August 31 if not all Americans had been evacuated by that date. Last month, the president said the US military mission in the war-torn country would've ended by that date. Shocking videos appear to show gunmen firing first into the air and then towards a crowd of people as the desperate efforts to escape the new terror regime continue. One video appears to show a crowd people gathered around men in camouflage fatigues - understood to the Taliban's elite Badri special forces unit - before the shooting begins.

Gunshots then ring out as the armed men attempt to disperse the crowd as the screaming families run for their lives. And one woman can be seen clutching her crying daughter as the men point their guns at the crowds in background. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he did not call the Afghan foreign minister last Friday when he was advised to because he was prioritising security and capacity at Kabul airport.

In a written statement, he said: "The whole of Government has been working tirelessly over the last week to help as many people evacuate from Afghanistan as possible. The UK Government's overriding priority has been to secure Kabul airport so that flights can leave. This was quickly overtaken by events. In any event, the Afghan Foreign Minister agreed to take the call, but was unable to because of the rapidly deteriorating situation. As a result, UK nationals and their families, Afghan staff and other countries citizens were evacuated on the morning of Monday August Since then, 1, have been evacuated.

I pay tribute to the excellent team we have in place, and we continue to prioritise what is required to evacuate people to the UK safely. Mr Raab wrote on Twitter that his statement was "responding to the inaccurate media reporting over recent days". Another man added: "I went to the airport with my kids and family The Taliban is on a bloody path to wrest back control of Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of foreign forces.

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